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TX Chief Asked to Leave Doctor's Office for Carrying Handgun

August 10, 2017  | 

Photo: Conroe Police Department/Facebook
Photo: Conroe Police Department/Facebook

The chief of the Conroe (TX) Police Department was asked to leave the Texas Ear Nose and Throat Specialists office Tuesday afternoon because he was carrying his firearm, reports the Montgomery County Courier.

Chief Philip Dupuis told The Courier he was wearing his badge on his belt in plain view next to his handgun, as well as his Conroe PD identification on a lanyard around his neck when he entered the doctor's office in the 3900 block of Pinecroft Drive around 4 p.m. and started to check in. A receptionist took his driver's license and insurance card before questioning him about the gun on his hip.

Dupuis said she asked him to take his gun out to his car. The 35-year law enforcement veteran, who never has had an accidental discharge, refused to disarm himself, reiterating that he is a police officer.

That's when he was asked to leave, Dupuis said.

"It's just bad," Dupuis said. "My badge is clearly displayed. I have my lanyard on with 'police' on my ID card hanging around my neck. I had handcuffs. The lobby was full of people, and they asked me to leave because of who I am."

Under Texas law, as a licensed police officer, Dupuis can legally open carry anywhere in the state. However, Dupuis acknowledged that despite Texas carry laws, a private business or property owner can create "weapons-free" zones..

"These people have the right to do what they did and refuse my service," he said. "Legally, they can ask me to leave because I'm not there on official business."


Comments (19)

Displaying 1 - 19 of 19

Chiefboyd @ 8/10/2017 6:16 PM

Pure unadulterated assholes

kojack58 @ 8/10/2017 6:16 PM

Chief I bet there were no signs in that office stating that. I also would have told her that officers are required to carry there weapons on and off duty. Most hospitals have that posted but they bow to officers coming in for appointments and the VA has the officers store their weapons in the armory until they are done with their appointments.

Fred @ 8/10/2017 7:16 PM

Just let them know the next time they call for help, the officers will wait outside so their guns don't offend them.

Anthony @ 8/10/2017 8:20 PM

I just LOVE "gun-free zones". The BAD GUY sees that sign and says to himself "....hey.....at least I'm not getting shot...." Sheer stupidity.

Anthony @ 8/10/2017 8:20 PM

I just LOVE "gun-free zones". The BAD GUY sees that sign and says to himself "....hey.....at least I'm not getting shot...." Sheer stupidity.

Robert (retired) @ 8/10/2017 8:23 PM

Once I find out places like this condemn us for carrying on or off duty, I somehow get the address wrong if they need a response. I know, I know.... dont need to write it here fellow officers.....

Mark @ 8/10/2017 9:54 PM

He should have pushed the issue. What are they going to do, call the police? He is the freaking chief!

I would have demanded an explanation why police are not allowed there? I would have also demanded an explanation why they have this wrong, bad, stupid, and not backed up by any study policy? I would also demand they explain why they fear firearms. All in front of their patients. I bet, this being Texas, many of their patients would have gotten up and left and found a new doctor.

Linda Newsome @ 8/11/2017 1:51 AM

I would not use that Doctor I am on the Police officer side.That is part of his job is to carry a Gun.

Bud Dunlap @ 8/11/2017 4:01 AM

I could see that happening in CA or MA, but NOT in TEXAS.

Larry @ 8/11/2017 4:50 AM

I've worked at hospitals in Illinois and Kentucky, and never asked a bonified officer to leave his firearm outside. Thats just ridiculous!

tom @ 8/11/2017 8:59 AM

Here is the question nobody has asked. Why do you need to ID yourself as a P.O. and use an open carry firearm, when you are in plain clothes and taking care of personal business. I have gone to my dentist and my doctor in uniform before with no problems. When I am in plain clothes, I still carry, but concealed. Chances are that if you are at an ear, nose, and throat doctor, they would never have even known you are armed. I have been an NRA member and instructor for a long time. I have taught many of the classes to help folks get their carry permits in our state. However, I think that POs who carry open, when they are not on the job, have placed themselves at greater risk, for no good reason. Open carry is asking for trouble, unless you are in uniform and on the job. 40 years on the job, and I know of no incident where this would have been a good thing or helped. By all means if you are a cop, carry a gun, just use some common sense to avoid these issues.

Frank @ 8/11/2017 10:59 AM

Time to find another doctor. Tell them their customer reduction program is working.

GreyBear @ 8/11/2017 11:40 AM

Tom...to address your question no one has asked; I have done this same thing, if I have a non-invasive type medical appointment in the middle of my work day, I'd take an hour or so of lost time for it, andl go in pretty much just as Chief Dupuis described his attire at the time of this incident. I would also have to say that, had this happened to me I would find a different doctor, and let anyone who'd listen know why!

Walter @ 8/12/2017 8:12 AM

"Why do you need to ID yourself as a P.O. and use an open carry firearm, when you are in plain clothes and taking care of personal business?" -- Just as a uniform does, open carry makes you a target for some and eliminates the value of being in plainclothes in the first place.

Walter @ 8/12/2017 8:13 AM

Still time to find another doctor. There is probably something going on in that office we do not know about.

Current Lawman @ 8/12/2017 8:47 AM

The chief did the right thing...I'm sure his first thought was, "I'm offended" but he knew the law and to avoid an issue to himself or others while patients were watching, he chose to leave. Many other officers would have argued their police status and made everyone uncomfortable. Congrats to the chief...he either won't be back, or he'll come in next time sans his pistol.

Frank Bodkins @ 8/12/2017 11:33 AM

The dental office did the chief a favor by refusing to service him he cannot go to a better doctor and have better service frankly for me I don't trust the dentist they can tell you to open your mouth and tell you you have all type of problems I found half of them lie for you don't have a problem so they say. As a law enforcement officer never give up your gun blue lives matter

Tinman @ 8/14/2017 8:45 AM

I WOULD RATHER GO TO THE DOCTOR WHILE OFF DUTY AND UNARMED. I HAD AN OCCASION WHERE I WAS AT THE DOCTOR ARMED AND WAS ADVISED I NEEDED X-RAYS, AND THAT I HAD TO LEAVE MY CLOTHING AND PERSONAL PROPERTY, GUN INCLUDED IN THE CHANGING ROOM AFTER CHANGING INTO GOWN. THINK ABOUT WHAT TESTS YOU MAY NEED AND BE SURE YOU CAN SAFEGUARD YOUR WEAPON.

TX Lawman @ 8/18/2017 4:59 AM

The Chief is incorrect. Texas businesses cannot create weapons free zones. They can post two signs, one for concealed and one for open carry that they are not allowed but that does not include law enforcement. Law enforcement are exempt and cannot be denied service for carrying. The only problem with the exemption for law enforcement was the Texas Legislators forgot to include a punishment for the violation of refusing an officer, only that you cannot do it.
Six Flags tried this as well as the NFL. The Governor straightened them out quickly and we can carry in both places. Only State where the NFL allows officers to carry at games because we have a great governor.

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